Indiana State Police investigators on Tuesday searched a north side voter registration agency as they look into a voter fraud case that spans nine counties:
According to a news release, the investigation began in late August when police learned of the filing of fraudulent voter registration forms in Marion and Hendricks counties.
"Information has expanded from the original involved counties of Hendricks and Marion to also include the counties of Allen, Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson, Lake and Madison," said a statement from the Indiana State Police.
As part of the expanded investigation, state police detectives served a search warrant for
Officials said a representative sample of voter registration applications received by county voter registration offices suspected of being fraudulent have been copied and provided to investigators. The original applications are maintained by the appropriate voter registration office.
The growing number of involved counties leads investigators to believe that the number of fraudulent records may be in the hundreds, police said.
The possible fraudulent information is a combination of fake names, addresses and dates of birth with real information.A mid-September Indianapolis Star story gives a few more details about the voter fraud investigation. But even that story leaves important questions unanswered, including most importantly who was behind the voter registration effort. A critical piece in the New Republic though answers many of those questions, albeit with a nefarious spin that questions the actions of Indiana officials:
On September 15, elections officials across Indiana received an alarming note from Connie Lawson, the state’s Republican secretary of state. “Unfortunately, it has recently come to my attention that nefarious actors are operating here in Indiana,” warned Lawson’s letter, which was sent to election administrators in each of the state’s 92 counties. “A group by the name of the Indiana Voter Registration Project has forged voter registrations. ... If you receive one of these applications, please contact the Indiana State Police Special Investigations.”
For weeks, the state had been quietly pursuing an investigation into the Indiana Voter Registration Project, a get-out-the-vote group backed by the liberal-leaning Patriot Majority. Its mission is to resuscitate voter participation in Indiana from a record low in 2014. In cooperation with Secretary Lawson’s office, state police placed six detectives on the case, interrogated members of the voting group, and performed forensics on registration documents. After determining that a handful of the group’s registration applications were forged, the state notified numerous officials, as well as local news media, that a shady organization was undermining democratic elections across Indiana.
The Patriot Majority expresses bewilderment at Lawson’s allegations and counters that the state’s investigative tactics—and Lawson’s public portrayal of the group as villainous—amount to a partisan effort to suppress voter registration in the state. The group points to the small number of flawed applications: Although the IVRP has submitted tens of thousands of voter registration forms in the Hoosier state this year, the state had only identified ten applications that were allegedly forged. (A news report released Thursday said that state police removed 250 suspicious IVRP registrations this week from a county elections office in central Indiana.)I've written numerous times countering the very false assertion repeated in the New Republic article, that Indiana has a low voter participation rate. What is going on is that voter registration rates in Indiana have spiked since the adoption of the National Voter Registration Act (commonly referred to as the Motor Voter Law) in 1993 that makes automatic purging of non-voters illegal. Indiana is one of the worst states in using the more complex and expensive process mandated by the federal government to clean up the voters rolls. (In fact, Indiana has been sued for failing to clean up its voter registration rolls.) As a result, many Hoosier voters who have died are still listed on the rolls as are voters who have moved and are registered in multiple counties.
Because of the failure to clean up the rolls, voter registration in Indiana has soared from 69% before Motor Voter to nearly 93% today. Some counties, including Marion County, have at times had voter registration of over 100%. Voter turnout is compared to these voter registration numbers. Thus, when voter registration rolls are inflated with deceased voters and those who have moved, voter turnout in Indiana appears to be worse than it actually is. When you compare voter turnout to the adult age population, turnout is not down in most elections. Further, as I've also written about before, the voter ID requirement Indiana later adopted has made no difference in turnout in Indiana.
Democrats are wrong to fight every effort at providing ballot security and are wrong in claiming that requiring photo ID at the polls is a huge burden to voting. We can discuss what photo ID should be acceptable, and the possible need for an affidavit type system for those who fail to bring an ID to the polls, but the Democrats' assertion by implication that Indiana should return to a system in which people could just sign their name to vote is beyond absurdity.
Saturday, August 29, 2015, Bloated Voter Rolls Propel Indiana to Third Highest Registration Rate in the Country